That

That

The word "that" is used in the English language for several grammatical purposes:

* to introduce a restrictive clause
* as a demonstrative pronoun
* as a complementizer.

In the Old English language "that" was spelled "þæt". It was also abbreviated as a letter Thorn, "þ", with the ascender crossed ( in places such as 2 Corinthians 13:7.

Phrases involving repeated "that"s

"That" can be used five times in a row, in a grammatically correct sentence:

He said that that 'that' that that man used was wrong. [http://www.rightwords.co.nz/that.html]
Or six times:
He said that that 'that' that that 'that' modified was wrong.
Or seven times: [ [http://www.bartleby.com/81/16383.html Brewer, E. Cobham. Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. That ] ]
Did the editor know that, that that 'that' that that 'that' followed was redundant? [ [http://www.opundo.com/sayagain.htm opundo-repetition ] ]

The same thing is possible with the German equivalent of that 'das', with the exception that 'das' is sometimes written 'dass' (or older 'daß') to make it easier to read, though it is pronounced the same way.

The pattern can be repeated indefinitely and retain its grammatical correctness:

Did you know that that 'that' that that 'that' that that 'that' that that 'that'...

Other patterns of grammatically correct multiple consecutive occurrences are also possible. For example:

That that is is that that that that is not is not.

References


* http://www.jtbullitt.com/projects/tangible-intuitions/words-fail/that

See also

*This
*English relative clauses
*"That" is also the Lao word for stupa.


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